Friday, 10 April 2015

Manston, the wind blows the other way with Roger’s Retraction, Ramsgate Society vanish from Harbour Street, the election candidates are published online and another ramble.

First here is today’s Manston press release from Sir Roger Gale:

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                     10 April, 2015.


Manston Airport – Search & Rescue Can Come Home -  Roger Gale

The way is clear for Search & Rescue to return to a re-opened Manston Airport.  That is the real significance of the announcement made yesterday by the minister of state for Aviation, John Hayes, during his visit to Thanet yesterday, says North Thanet`s Roger Gale.

“It is a pity that the real issue was buried under a synthetic and media-generated political “row” says Gale.

“The Minister responsible for the Coastguard Service has approved a one-year contract for Bristows to operate from Lydd while discussions relating to the future of Manston continue. He has made it plain that during that time there will be no capital investment in new SAR facilities, paving the way for a swift return to the preferred operating base, Manston, as soon as the airport is once again operational.  That speaks volumes. It demonstrates the faith that a significant and reputable company, Bristows, has in Manston and it states very clearly the importance that the Prime Minister and the Transport Department have placed upon Manston as a strategic national asset – because this move has the full backing of Number 10. This is part of a process that those of us who really support Manston have been engaged in for months and it has nothing to do with the General or council Elections at all. “

Commenting on the status of the RiverOak indemnity package Roger Gale has added:

“The Minister made it plain that, based upon the indications that he has received and the contents of a letter sent to him by the Chief Executive of RiverOak, Steve DeNardo, yesterday, he is confident in saying, with the full weight of Ministerial Office, that he is satisfied that there will be no risk to the Thanet Council taxpayers in proceeding to a Compulsory Purchase Order.

I have a copy of that letter in front of me and in it Mr. DeNardo says:

“We instructed our solicitors, Wragge, Lawrence Graham, to draft an indemnity agreement between Thanet District Council and RiverOak to cover all the Council`s risks. This was because we recognised that for both financial and political reasons it would be impossible for Thanet to carry any risk, however small and however remote. I can confirm that the indemnity agreement as drafted does meet those requirements.
RiverOak is a US registered company but prior to the signing of the indemnity agreement we will create a UK based and registered company, to be known as RiverOak Aviation, to go through the CPO process and take ownership of the airport if awarded. The same company will also hold all the appropriate CAA licenses.
In support of the CPO process RiverOak accept total responsibility for making the business case for the airport to the CPO inspector. In doing so we recognise that if we are unable to satisfy the Inspector as to the viability of our business plan we will lose the CPO and a significant amount of our own capital but it will have been done at no cost to Thanet.

To this end we are prepared to deposit up to £2,000,000 into a designated escrow account in the UK simultaneous upon the mutual signing of an indemnity agreement between RiverOak and Thanet District Council”

That is the basis upon which the Minister of State has felt it possible to say that there will be no risk to Thanet. I do not believe that the situation could now be clearer.
I have made it plain to the Leader of Thanet District Council that if she and her administration now proceed to instigate the CPO procedure then they will do so with the full and non-partisan backing that I have offered to date and to that end I am prepared to put my own political reputation on the line.

Further, the Leader of the Conservative Group on Thanet District Council, Bob Bayford, has indicated that on an equally non-partisan basis the Conservative Group will back the controlling Group and will share equal political responsibility for the decision.  I do not think that we can offer more and I hope and expect that reservations will be set to one side and that, on the basis of the Minister of State`s assurances, the process will now be allowed to immediately commence”.

With Manston Airport being 700 acres, the £2m  at less than £3,000 an acre sounds a bit on the low side.

Something like Dr Evil


Anyway the whole airport issue is moving into the realms of the surreal, so there really isn’t much more I can say.


I have just come back from Harbour Street where I went to check if The Ramsgate Society Shop wanted stock of any more local books, here is a picture of their shop today.   

Another bit of local news is that the names of the Thanet parliamentary candidates is now published online at http://thanet.gov.uk/your-services/elections-and-voting/parliamentary-election-2015/south-thanet/


And the list of candidates for parish and town councillors at http://thanet.gov.uk/your-services/elections-and-voting/parish-elections-2015/contested-elections-of-parish-councillors/

The only thing of note is that neither Labour or the conservatives put up candidates for all of the TDC seats roughly 56 seats 52 Conservative and 53 Labour candidates.  

Sorry I did mean to get more of a ramble up but was too busy, I will have a go now and see what comes up.

On the bookshop front here in Ramsgate, I think this is the first week that all of the books going out on the selves in the bookshop got photographed and posted online, see http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/

We will do our best to keep this up as judging from the webstats people seem to like this.

We have now got a whole month of taking credit card payments in the shop using PayPal and a Paypal card reader, there haven’t been any snags, we have managed to take card paid telephone orders OK and foreigners cards that don’t have chips.

As you don’t have to pay rental for the card machine which we bought outright for £70 or any of the other fees, like the pone call, software charge, money laundering compliance charge and anything else the bank can think of, we seem to be saving around £25 per month.

Nearly all the in shop transactions are coming in at 2.75% and no other charges.

There is a rumour going round that Al Murray is going to open a shop in Ramsgate, I have been keeping an eye on the other political shops in the town, I am yet to see a customer in the UKIP shop, I have very occasionally seen one in the Labour shop, however the Reality Party Café “Evolution” seems to always have customers.

I guess there is a lesson to be learnt here     

1 comment:

  1. Looks like Roger Gale has dropped the minister in it as far as breaking the rules of purdah are concerned and the owners of Manston have a good case to report him to the Electoral Commission. Only yesterday a UKIP PPC was summonsed by the Commission for supplying sausage rolls at a meeting. Maybe Roger Gale can tell us how much the Bristow contract is worth a year?

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